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20 Aug 2010   ·   20
Money Saving Mom

We Paid Cash! :: My Diamond Wedding Ring

We paid cash!

Testimonial from Heather

We paid cash for my new wedding ring — today!

The Background

My boyfriend and I knew each other for 8 years and dated for a year before we decided to get married. Money was very tight so we invited close family to a small ceremony at the courthouse with a Justice of the Peace.

We didn’t have any money for a nice wedding ring since my now-husband had recently lost his job with the city. I bought a solitare ring and matching band from Claire’s that totaled less than $30. Very cheap, but hey, it worked and you wouldn’t believe the compliments I got on it!

Diamond Wedding RingOver the past year I have had to replace the cheap “costume jewelry ring” a few times but it was what the ring symbolized that was important to us.

How We Did It

We’ve saved little by little during the last 11 months hoping to save enough by the time our anniversary came up on August 26th.

My husband, after a year of unemployment, has decided to join the military and since we can take only one car with us, we sold the old clunker we rarely used and got enough to buy a new ring and have some leftover for fun money!

The Deal

The ring I found after shopping around was originally priced at $1500, on sale for $899 and I talked the sales rep down to $799 INCLUDING lifetime warranties for the gold and diamonds. $870 out the door cash for a brand new 1-carat diamond ring!

Good things come to those who wait! : )

Wedding RingHeather, husband Chris, and daughters Allison and Brooke live in Phoenix, Arizona where they live debt-free. In addition to their recent wedding ring purchase they have paid cash for their 50″ Panasonic plasma tv, new leather furniture, second car and have never paid full price for diapers!

Have you saved up and paid cash for something — large or small? Submit your story for possible publication here.

20 Aug 2010   ·  
Money Saving Mom

We Paid Cash! :: Our Adoption

We paid cash!Testimony from David and Melissa

The best piece of pre-marital advice we ever received came from my Dad just over nine years ago. He suggested that if we ever hoped to be a one-income family giving me the freedom to stay home with our children, we should budget only on that one income from day one.

We decided to take that advice to heart and right from the very beginning, my income (I’m an elementary teacher) went straight into our savings account. Over the years we’ve used those savings to help pay cash for several different things; the biggest of which was for the adoption of our daughter.

How we paid cash for adoptionThe Background

We struggled with infertility for over six years before adopting our daughter this past January. During that time we spent literally thousands and thousands of dollars on fertility treatments (including IVF). However when all of those treatments left us with only broken hearts and two miscarriages, we decided it was time to explore adoption. God came through in a truly remarkable way and provided a beautiful baby girl for us almost immediately.

Adoptions are expensive no matter how you look at them. Ours cost us in the ballpark of $15,000. I am pleased (and still a little surprised and amazed) to say that because of our sacrifice of that second income for the last 9 years, we were able to pay cash for the entire amount.

How We Did It

  • Living within our means based on my husband’s income only.
  • Never seeing what our lifestyle would feel like with two incomes.
  • Putting the second income (minus tithe) entirely into our savings account.
  • Using extreme self-control and resist the temptation to take annual trips to Disney World with those saved funds. 🙂
  • Don’t spend the money until enough has been saved.
  • We have made the personal choice to pay cash for everything except our house. If we don’t have the cash for it, we don’t buy it.

Next Steps

Now that I’m finally a mom, it was a real dilemma whether to now stay home with our daughter or return to work.  Knowing that our ability to adopt again is based on being able to raise another $15,000, we made the decision for me to work at least another year so that our next adoption can also be paid in cash.

We are David and Melissa Gafford and we have a 7 month old daughter named Addison. You can read more about our adoption story on our blog.

19 Aug 2010   ·   59
Money Saving Mom

Tonight’s Dillons shopping trip: Nine boxes of Cheerios for $0.48 each and more!

The children and I went to Dillons tonight and here’s what we ended up buying:

3 bottles of Sobe — on sale for $0.49 when you bought 8 participating products, used 1 Buy One Get One Free printable coupon which took off $0.99, so all three were only $0.49 total after the coupon

1 bag of organic cheese puffs — $1.66

2 jars of peanut butter — $1 each

2 16-oz. packages of cheddar cheese — on sale for $2.79 each when you buy 8 participating items, plus used a $1/2 coupon making them only $2.22 each

1 ThinkThin bar — on sale for $1.25, used $0.50/1 coupon (doubled), $0.25 after coupon

1 package Goldfish — on sale for $1.25, used $0.50/1 coupon (doubled), $0.25 after coupon

2 4-packs of YoPlus yogurt — on sale for $1.79 when you bought 8 participating items, used 2 $0.50/1 coupons, $0.79 each after coupons

4 bottles Snapple — on sale for $1.29, used $0.75/1 coupons (“doubled” to $1/1), $0.29 each after coupons

9 boxes Cheerios — on sale for $1.48 when you bought 8 participating items, used $0.50/1 coupons (doubled), $0.48 per box after coupons

After coupons, I paid $18.34. According to my receipt, I saved $52.12, or 76% (not that I’d pay some of those inflated retail prices, but…)

Here are some other deals which are available:

Chex Mix or Gardetto’s Snack Mix (7-8.75 oz.) – $1.49
Use $0.50/1 printable here or $1/1 Chipotle Cheddar Chex Mix, 4.5 oz+ (IE) or (FF)
$0.49 after coupons

Pillsbury Sweet Rolls — $1.19
Use $0.50/1 coupon (doubled)
$0.19 after coupon

Cocoa Puffs — $1.48
Use $0.55/1 coupon here or here (will deduct $1)
$0.48 after coupon

Betty Crocker Warm Delights — $1.46
Use $0.75/1 coupon from the 8/8 General Mills insert (will deduct $1)
$0.46 after coupon

Hamburger Helper — $0.89
Buy 3 and use $0.75/3 coupon (will deduct $1)
$0.56 each after coupon

Hot Pocket SideShot Sandwiches — $1.64
Use $1/1 coupon
$0.64 each after coupon

Progresso Soup — $1.19
Buy 2 and use $1/2 coupon
$0.69 each after coupon

Simply Go-Gurt — $1.79 (our store does not carry this, hopefully yours does!)
Use $0.50/1 coupon (doubled)
$0.79 after coupon

Fiber One Cereal Bars $1.99
Use $0.50/1 coupon (doubled)
$0.99 after coupon

Nature Valley Granola Bars — $1.99
Use $0.50/1 coupon (doubled)
$0.99 after coupon

Plus, there’s also a catalina deal running on Nature Valley and Fiber One Bars through September 5, 2010 (thanks to the commentors who alerted me to this!):

Buy 3, Get $1.50 catalina good on your next order
Buy 4, Get $2.50 catalina good on your next order
Buy 5, Get $3.50 catalina good on your next order

*Deal Idea*

Buy 5 Nature Valley or Fiber One Bars $1.99 each + 3 other participating items
Use 5 $0.50/1 coupons (doubled)
Spend $4.98 out of pocket, plus the costs of the 3 other participating items
Get $3.50 catalina good on your next order
So, after the coupons and catalina, you will only be paying $0.30 per box of Fiber One or Nature Valley Bars — which is an exceptional deal!

Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers — $8.49
Use $2/1 coupon
$6.49 after coupon

19 Aug 2010   ·   60
Money Saving Mom

Priceless

Our little Silas (15 months old): Busy boy, into everything, bringing perpetual joy and smiles into our home, always up for hugs and cuddles and my precious Mommy’s Boy.

Kaitlynn (3): Girly girl who finally mastered potty-training and got to get her ears pierced (much to her great delight!), lover of dresses and hair bows, wannabe musician and continually surprising us with the depth of her understanding.

Kathrynne (5): Adventurous, creative, never idle, art aficionado, budding entrepreneur and quickly becoming my right hand helper (she can now clean the entire bathroom by herself; I think we’ll tackle simple cooking and laundry next!).

Life is boisterous, noisy and often messy at our house, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world — though some days a nap in a quiet room does sound awfully nice. 🙂 The smiles, the giggles, the learning and playing together, the hugs and cuddles cannot be bought with any price. And I want to overlook the dirty dishes, laundry piles and spilled milk and rejoice in God’s goodness to allow me to be mother to these three little ones. It’s only a short season and I don’t want to waste it.

Related: Amy has a excellent post on How to Sabotage Your Blog (and Your Life)

19 Aug 2010   ·   9
Money Saving Mom

Reader Tip: Free Audiobooks from Librivox

As a housewife and stay-at-home-mom, I love to listen-while-I-work. Keeps this easily-distracted momma on task. 🙂

You and your readers may be interested in www.librivox.org. This organization hosts recordings of books that are in the public domain. Volunteers read the books and submit them.

The quality varies between different recordings and as always some books are better than others but there is some good listening here! Perfect for chore time, or sit and color time, or baking a cake time or folding laundry.  I recently listened to “An Old Fashioned Girl” which was a great story. -Sarah

Have a quick money-saving tip you think others might benefit from? Drop me a line and I’ll consider posting it.

19 Aug 2010   ·   122
Money Saving Mom

An epiphany on frugality

Yesterday, after a lunch date at Jason’s Deli, my husband and I stopped by Best Buy to look into replacing my hanging-on-by-a-thread laptop that we’ve been saving up to replace over the last few months.

It’s been a long time since I’ve stepped foot in an electronics store and I was just a wee bit overwhelmed. Barely in the door, I was accosted by shiny gadgets promising to do just about everything but perform my morning workout routine (I’m still waiting for that to be invented!).

As I was browsing the aisles, seeing people paw excitedly over this blinking gadget and that flashing screen, and realizing you could spend your whole life savings in just one computer aisle alone, I was thinking about how this is just stuff.

Stuff that can serve a purpose, but can also suck your time and money.

Stuff that can bring some enjoyment, but which won’t make you happy long term.

Stuff that can aid you in your professional or personal life, but which won’t bring contentment.

Stuff that can clutter up your home, drain your energy and cost you an arm and a leg.

And right there in the middle of Best Buy, I had an epiphany: True frugality isn’t just about eating beans and rice and pinching pennies, it is recognizing that there is more to life than stuff. The quality of the life you live is much more important than the quantity of money or nice stuff you have.

I did buy a laptop (a Mac — believe it or not! — after being a PC girl all my life!), but I left the rest of the stuff on the shelves. Many of those other items might be useful, important or even necessary for other people in other situations, but, right now, I don’t need any of them. And I walked out completely free and content, paid-for laptop in hand.

photo by Moyan Brenn

Related: Get Rich Slowly has a thought-provoking post up today on quality of life versus quantity of stuff.

18 Aug 2010   ·   162
Money Saving Mom

Ask the Readers: How do you feed hungry teenagers without breaking your budget?

I have three teenagers with lots of teenage friends, who we love to host anytime. We have an open door policy and I wouldn’t change that for the world – it’s a great way to get to know the kids my kids are hanging out!

My concern is my grocery budget. It seems these hungry, growing kids can clean out my refrigerator and a week’s worth of snacks in an hour! Any ideas for some low cost, healthy, teen friendly snacks? How do you feed teenagers without breaking your budget? -Denise

18 Aug 2010   ·   45
Money Saving Mom

Good Reads: Better Off by Eric Brende

Eric Brende and his brand-new wife decided to do something radical: they gave up their car, electric stove, refrigerator, running water and everything else motorized or electric and moved into a very primitive community as an 18-month experiment to see how technology affected their lives, negatively or positively.

Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology chronicles the Brendes experiences, hardships and victories in living a life without modern technology. You’ll groan along with them as they adjust to no air-conditioning in the blistering heat of summer harvest. You’ll cheer for them as they succeed in gardening, canning and living off their land.

Ultimately, this book will likely make you stop and consider your own use of technology and how it is impacting your life. The author’s conclusion is not that all technology is wrong, but that excessive technology may be robbing us of deep relationships, time and energy, invigorating work and the rich joys of a simple life. This book challenged me to think “outside the grid” and look for ways to make more things from scratch while not expending a lot of extra time and energy to do so.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Better Off and would highly recommend it for anyone interested in simple living. You should be able to find it at your local library.

Discovered any Good Reads recently? Tell me about them in the comments and I’ll consider adding them to my long and ever-growing book list!

16 Aug 2010   ·   79
Money Saving Mom

Should You Give Your Child an Allowance?

Guest post by Jenae from I Can Teach My Child

To give an allowance or not to give an allowance — that is the question!

Giving children an allowance has been an age-old debate. Critics of allowances say that children are members of a family and therefore should do chores around the house as their way of contributing to the good of the family. Proponents of allowances argue that it teaches children responsibility. What’s a parent to do?

This “problem,” like many problems, can be solved with just a little bit of compromise.

Yes, children need to understand that, as a member of the family, they are expected to pull their weight around the house. Each child should be given chores that are simply expectations — no monetary reward should be given. Even a child as young as 2 or 3 can help set the table and make his bed in the morning.

In addition to a child’s household chores, she can also be given extra jobs around the house for which she receives a small monetary reward.

There are many benefits to giving children an allowance, even as young as preschool-age:

  • An allowance instills in a child a sense of work-ethic. If a child completes her jobs to the expectations of her parents, she will receive her allowance. If she carelessly rushes through, however, she will not receive her allowance. These situations are powerful teachers to children and help them realize that they cannot give a half-hearted effort and expect to receive a full allowance in exchange.
  • An allowance allows children an opportunity to handle money responsibly. When children are given an allowance, they are in control of how that money is spent. Essentially, the money is theirs. If they choose to blow their money on ten packs of bubble gum, they will not have the money to purchase anything else. Over time, a child receiving an allowance will learn that money has value.
  • An allowance teaches delayed gratification. If a child works for his allowance and saves his money to purchase a special toy, he is learning to delay gratification. Once he has saved enough money to purchase that toy, he will have a sense of accomplishment and the toy will be that much more meaningful than if his parents were to just have bought it on their weekly trip to supermarket. Lessons like this one cannot be taught without real-life experience!
  • An allowance teaches a child to give. Prior to giving your child an allowance, a conversation regarding giving needs to take place. Children need to be told that God expects us to give back to Him. Everything belongs to God in the first place, so giving back to Him is just a small way we show our gratitude for the blessings He has given us. How much your child gives is a decision each individual family should make.

You can get started by creating a chart for chores that are family responsibilities and a chart for tasks for which a child receives an allowance.  Once your child has completed the tasks for the week, reward her with an allowance!

Jenae is a wife, mother of two boys, and former first-grade teacher.  She loves finding creative ways to save money, spending time with her family and sharing fun activities on her website I Can Teach My Child.

What do you think? Do you give your children an allowance? Why or why not?

photo by Tony Hall

15 Aug 2010   ·   39
Money Saving Mom

Super Savings Saturday: Sam’s Club and my discovery of Groupon!

We didn’t get a whole lot in the way of groceries this past week. But last Saturday, my husband stopped by Sam’s Club for their free entrance event and he picked up some yeast and organic greens.

Now, lest you wonder if we’ve really turned into salad-eating monsters due to P90X, let me reassure you that we did not consume all two tubs of salad ourselves. 🙂 We shared a lot of it with our extended family on our trip.

The tubs of organic salad were $3.98 each and the yeast was $2 per package. So our total at Sam’s Club was around $13 with tax.

All of us pitched in and brought food to Arkansas, so we only ate a few meals out while we were gone. We did buy a half gallon of milk, some cheese, a few veggies and juice, but that was it. So, we stayed under $40 in grocery spending this week — though we spent a little extra on eating out (which came from our vacation envelope).

When we came home late Friday evening, this package was awaiting us:

My first Groupon purchase of 3 pounds of dried cherries, cranberries and golden raisins! We’re going to use these in our Homemade Instant Oatmeal.

I mentioned on my Facebook page last week that I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to jump on the Groupon bandwagon. And I can’t! I’ve heard rave reviews about this website for so long, and I’ve even mentioned it here a few times. But I always thought it was the sort of thing where the deals and coupons wouldn’t really save us money, they’d just encourage us to spend more.

However, I went ahead and signed up — and I’ve been very pleasantly surprised. In fact, I did a little happy dance a few times this week when I received the Groupon deal email for the day and discovered it was a deep discount for something I was already planning on buying in the next month!

Now, you definitely could spend more by buying stuff from Groupon if you’re not on a strict budget and giving every dollar a name. But I’m pumped about how much we’re going to be able to maximize the mileage of our envelope money thanks to Groupon.

For instance, last week alone, I was able to buy a $25 gift certificate to a local thrift store for only $10 and a $40 gift certificate to a local salon for only $10! I need to purchase my children some clothes, so I might as well spend $10 to get $25 worth. And I was planning to get the girls’ hair cut this month, so I might as well spend $10 to pay for a voucher which will cover the costs of four hair cuts.

Do you see the beauty of this? You can watch the Groupon deals as they come into your inbox and then stretch your envelope dollars a lot farther by purchasing the deeply-discounted deals which will be for things you’re already going to be buying — only now you can get them 50% to 75% off or more!

__________________

Did you snag any great deals or bargains this week or save money in other ways? If so, be sure to post about them on your blog and leave your link below. Please remember that this weekly round-up is to share deals you personally got and/or money you were able to save this week. In order to keep this weekly round-up focused on helping and inspiring others in their efforts to save money, links which have little-to-no content other than promoting affiliate links, etc. will be deleted. Also, to make it easy for everyone to navigate quickly through the links, your link must link directly to your Super Savings Saturday post.

14 Aug 2010   ·   30
Money Saving Mom

Becoming a Work-At-Home Mom: Working 60 to 70 hours per week is not something I’d recommend

If you’re new here, you’ll want to go back and read the first parts of the Becoming a Work-At-Home Mom series.

While I was trying my hand at blogging and building up our online bookstore, I was also forging relationships with some other family businesses and Christian homeschool companies. One of those relationships happened to be with a family who published a nationwide homeschooling magazine.

They mentioned they were looking for someone to join their team on a very part-time basis helping with some marketing responsibilities. I inquired further and discovered it was something I thought I might be able to do as it just involved researching companies to contact about promotions and cross-promotional opportunities and the contacting them and trying to work out cross-promotions.

I’d had a little bit of experience working with online companies because of my wedding business, online bookstore and blog, so they were willing to bring me on to work about two hours per day for them. It was tedious work, which often resulted in dead ends, but I was learning so much about creating pitches and marketing a product and — best of all! — I was getting paid for my time!

After a few months of working in this very part-time capacity for this homeschooling magazine, I guess they decided I had some potential, because they asked me to stay on in a more permanent position and gave me more responsibilities for heading up some of their larger promotions and brainstorming creative marketing ideas.

Before I knew it, I was officially their Marketing Manager and was also managing an ad sales team. Much of what I was doing, I had little experience in, but I found that I could learn so much just by reading great books on marketing, observing other companies and analyzing what was working for them and then being willing to experiment.

It was so rewarding to see hard work pay off, magazine sales increase, ad sales generated and new ideas blossoming. I was loving just about every minute of what I was doing. There was only one problem: between my responsibilities for the magazine and my own blog and business, I was often working 60 to 70 hours per week, in addition to being a wife, mom and homemaker.

I remember working well into the night — or even all night some nights — just to get everything done. And working so many hours definitely took its toll on me and I look at pictures of myself from that time period and realize how utterly sleep-deprived and exhausted I looked. I certainly wouldn’t recommend those long work hours to anyone else!

The good news was that between the various things I was doing from home and my husband’s part-time income, we were able to stay out of debt, I was able to stay home with our daughter and we actually had a little breathing room in our budget for the very first time since being married.

In addition, my blog and our online business had continued to grow. So when my husband finished his last week of law school, we felt it was time for me to quit working for the homeschool magazine and just focus on our home, family and my own business.

It was a big leap of faith to give up the regular monthly income from the homeschool magazine — especially since Jesse still had to study for the bar and pass the bar before he’d be able to get a full-time job — but we had made it through law school debt-free (by the grace of God!) and we were ready for me to work less and spend more time being a wife and mom.

…to be continued next Saturday

13 Aug 2010   ·   25
Money Saving Mom

We Paid Cash! :: White Picket Fence

We paid cash!

Testimonial from Tawra

We paid cash for my beloved picket fence!

My DreamWe paid cash for our picket fence.

Ever since we were married almost 16 years ago I have wanted a cute little house with a white picket fence. I know it sounds corny but gardening is my passion! I especially love cottage gardens so the fence was always a dream of mine.

When we first got married we weren’t able to do it right away because we couldn’t afford it.

In the first five years of our marriage, we paid off  $20,000 in debt and medical bills on $22,000 a year average income. In the years following, we endured a job loss, the selling of one house and the buying of a new one in the country.

We paid cash for our fenceHow We Did It

Finally, after working and saving for 13 years, my picket fence was going to be our first big “fun” purchase. We hadn’t been on vacations (except to visit family), didn’t eat out and were ultra frugal. I was excited!

In six months, we were able to save up enough cash to pay for it! And we paid $800 for fencing that should have been $1500.

Our store offered a coupon where when you bought $50 or more you would get $10 off. Each time you purchased something, the register would spit out another $10 off of $50 coupon.

It took us three hours to go to two stores for all of the supplies. In all, I made twenty transactions but saved $200 in coupons and another $500 because the fencing was on sale. $700 for three hours of work is a great savings in my book!

I kept telling people who would get in line behind us that we were going to be a while and they were all fine with it and found another line.

One lady decided to wait and I told her what I was doing. She said, “Cool, I’ll have to do that!” She had about $600 worth of stuff in her basket so she was glad for that tip!

We paid cash arborWe installed the fence ourselves, saving another $2000 and now I have my wonderful, long awaited  picket fence! You can see that the flowers already love it!

Tawra Kellam, along with her mom, runs www.LivingOnADime.com and are the authors of Dining On A Dime Cookbook. In the three years since they’ve paid off their debt, Mike and Tawra have also paid cash for lots and lots of plants, a car, a baby, a riding mower, furniture for their new house, plus paid down 50K on their house.

Have you saved up and paid cash for something — large or small? Submit your story for possible publication here.

12 Aug 2010   ·   93
Money Saving Mom

A new approach to working smarter, not harder

We’re on our annual extended family vacation at a lake in Arkansas this week and I’ve been reading Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology
by Eric Brende. I’m really enjoying the book (expect a full review next week) and am very inspired to do a better job of making things from scratch and doing things myself. I’ve become a little lax in the last year as our income has increased and we’ve not been in such a position that we’ve needed to pinch pennies as hard.

However, this book has motivated me to think outside the box and to be more proactive in looking for ways we can save money and use fewer resources — without expending a great deal of extra energy ourselves in the process. I guess it’s a new approach to the working smarter, not harder philosophy I’ve always had.

So expect to see more do-it-yourself-type posts in the coming months as we experiment with new ideas. We’ve already written out a long list of things we’d like to try including making our own laundry soap (I know I said I’d never try again after my first attempt was such a total flop, but I’ve decided that maybe a new recipe might make a world of difference!).

Speaking of which, I loved Tammy’s post today on 10 Fabulous Foods You Can Make Yourself. I think I’m going to make that mouth-watering chocolate cake to celebrate the completion of the P90X program (I must stop looking at the cake pictures and tempting myself as I still have around 70 days to go!).

Do you have any other fabulous (and healthful!) make-it-from-scratch recipes you’d recommend or do-it-yourself ideas you’d love for me to try and blog about? Leave me a link or email me and I’ll definitely consider it!

photo by Peter Blanchard

9 Aug 2010   ·   62
Money Saving Mom

Freezer Cooking Day: The Lazy Edition

So, I did a very short Freezer Cooking Day this past Saturday. Actually, I don’t think “day” really describes what it was – since it was more like “snatches of time” in the middle of a busy day.

To be completely honest, I got all lazy and didn’t really do it “right.” I guess you could say I’m adapting FlyLady’s slogan: “Housework done incorrectly still blesses your family.”

Getting past perfectionism and being satisfied with “good enough” has been one of the best lessons I’ve learned as a homemaker. Because seriously? No one lives in the perfect, catalog houses anyway.

I cooked up a TON of chicken (something like 16 meals’ worth!) and then just chopped the cooked chicken and sliced the marinated chicken. And then {gasp!} I dumped it into two big freezer bags and stuck them in the freezer. I know I should have probably frozen them in individual meal-sized bags, but I ran out of bags and time.

The same with the strawberries, bananas and peaches. I’d planned to make up these snazzy Fruit Smoothie Kits complete with yogurt frozen in ice cube trays and the like. But I was short on time since we were leaving the next morning to go out of town, so I decided it was better to get something done and to go to bed at a decent hour, than to do everything perfectly and stay up all night.

{Is it a sign that I’m getting old or that I’m getting smart when I choose sleep over perfectionism?}

Only time will tell if my lazy methods end up taking a lot of extra time. For now, I’m just happy to have a big bag of muffins, three big bags of frozen fruit for smoothies, 40 homemade oatmeal packets and about 16 meals’ worth of chicken in the freezer making meal preparation over the next few weeks much smoother.

And all told, I probably spent no more than two hours –broken up over the day – to pull it off, including clean up.

Sure, it’s not my most impressive Freezer Cooking Day spread, but it’s something. And that something will come in very handy during the busy weeks ahead.

______________________

Did you have a chance to do any baking or cooking this week? If so, post about it on your blog and leave your link below to your direct blo g post. I’d love it especially if you could share pictures and recipes so we can get ideas for our next Freezer Cooking Day! And I’m guessing many others would be inspired as well.

7 Aug 2010   ·   29
Money Saving Mom

Super Savings Saturday: Fresh fruits and veggies, four bags of chicken and more!

This is our second week of eating according to the P90X Nutritional Plan and I feel like I’m still feeling my way along. But let me tell you, the extra work is worth it because between eating better, exercising more, drinking more water and getting more rest, I’m feeling completely rejuvenated as a person.

Here’s what we bought at Aldi and Dillons this week — along with some farm-fresh eggs and produce we were given/bought:

All totaled, we spent around $42 on groceries this week. Our four gallons of milk from last week (two regular and two chocolate) ended up being enough to last us through this week, too, so I think it looks like we likely overbought there a little. 🙂

_______________

Did you snag any great deals or bargains this week or save money in other ways? If so, be sure to post about them on your blog and leave your link below. Please remember that this weekly round-up is to share deals you personally got and/or money you were able to save this week. In order to keep this weekly round-up focused on helping and inspiring others in their efforts to save money, links which have little-to-no content other than promoting affiliate links, etc. will be deleted. Also, to make it easy for everyone to navigate quickly through the links, your link must link directly to your Super Savings Saturday post.